These Marine Corps recruits are fighting with pugil sticks used to simulate hand-to-hand combat with bayonets. Instructor: You suck! Strip and go to the penalty box, now. That’s what I’m talking about! Recruit: Aye, aye, sir! Instructor: That’s what I’m talking about! Recruit: Aye, aye, sir!
Instructor: Run away! Narrator: Here at the
Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina, recruits train with real bayonets comprised of a blade mounted on the barrel of an M16 rifle. Instructor: Next station! Darrin Hill: A bayonet’s used in close-combat situations with the enemy, if they’re too close
for you to actually fire or you have to engage them quick or you actually run out of ammunition. Recruit: Marine Corps! Marine Corps! Marine Corps! Marine Corps! Hill: Pugil sticks is a way for them to implement those techniques that they learned for bayonet without actually causing, like, permanent damage to the opponent. Narrator: Before they suit up to fight, a martial arts instructor
briefs the recruits on the objectives of the training. Recruits: Aye, sir. Instructor: The first
thing we want to see is that straight thrust, you understand? Recruits: Yes, sir! Hill: Here in the Marine Corps, we have kind of a little ditty that means “red is dead.” So, that red side is supposed to emulate the actual knife portion
of the actual bayonet. If you cut somebody or stab someone with that side on an actual bayonet, nine times of 10 are either gonna be incapacitated or laid to rest. Narrator: Before the recruits match up, two instructors provide an example. Recruits are separated by weight class. Instructor: I’m gonna call out weights. When I call out your weight, you’re gonna get in one formation. 225 and above, run right now. Instructor: Run! Instructor: 195. Instructor: Put it on.
Recruit: Aye, sir! Narrator: Along with mouth guards, recruits wear helmets, protective gloves, and padding for the upper and lower body. Hill: The pugil stick is just comprised of either a wood or a plastic log that’s about 5 to 6 feet long, and it has padding on either
end of the pugil stick as well as in the center. It’s just a big Q-tip, if you will. The objective is actually
to get well-aimed, purposeful shots in on the opponent. We usually try to blow the whistle after a killing blow, which is identified by that red side striking the opponent. You get that killing
blow, you win the bout. Narrator: Each contest
has a winner and a loser. Instructor: That’s what I’m talking about. That’s what I’m talking about. Recruit: Aye, aye, sir! Instructor: Run away! Narrator: While the winner is praised, the loser must pay an additional price… Recruit: Aye, aye, sir. Narrator: Which drill instructors describe as “going to the penalty box.” Instructor: You’re still not screaming! Recruits: Aye, aye, sir. Instructor: I said open up your mouth! Hill: That’s just basically a series of planking positions that they will hold for no longer than 30 seconds. Instructor: We’ll stay here all day, then! We don’t want to scream! Recruits: Aye, aye, sir. Hill: There’s nothing
wrong with a little extra PT to strengthen your core, whatever the case may be. Remotivate them, get them back to where they need to be. Narrator: Although each fight starts on the bridge, it doesn’t always end there. Hill: Not every fight is gonna be on flat or level ground. Could be on a slope,
you could be on a hill, you could be in water. So if they’re only used to fighting on level playing field and not have to worry about levels, then they’re gonna be used to that. You only build those good habits if you actually do it. The takeaway that I
really want them to get is just be prepared in any situation. Just because there’s an M16 or a gun doesn’t mean that the only way you can take your enemy out is by firing a round. It’s probably one of the highlights of recruit training for them. They’re out there, they’re actually doing what they feel like they signed up to do, which is learn how to combat the enemy.